Barcelona-PSG, RB Leipzig-Liverpool: Expert picks, odds for UEFA Champions League matches

The UEFA Champions League is back on CBS All Access, and it returns with quite the bang. European football’s premier club competition has a pair of seismic round of 16 ties on Tuesday’s schedule. Liverpool, 2019 winners and Premier League champions, are reeling after three straight domestic defeats ended their title challenge. Can a club with a history of excellence on the European stage get back to form against an RB Leipzig side that reached last season’s semifinals?

On that occasion they fell to Paris Saint-Germain but the French champions’ dream of lifting the Champions League trophy was denied by Bayern Munich. Even with Neymar sidelined for the trip to his former club, their matchup with Barcelona promises to be the tie of the round with its victor sure to be among the favorites to reach the final in Istanbul.

So who will draw first blood in the round of 16? Our CBS Sports’ soccer experts have made their picks below. You can catch all the action on CBS All Access

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Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Time: Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET (CBS All Access and CBS Sports Network)
Barcelona +103; Draw +280; PSG +240 (odds via William Hill Sportsbook)

Rongen’s take: I think the key factor might well be Barca being at home and Lionel Messi the difference maker. Pick: Barcelona 2, PSG 1

Romano’s take: Even without Neymar, PSG can score more than one goal against a Barca side that always make so many mistakes in defense this season. But it’ll be a great night for Leo Messi who must leave his mark in order to give his club a chance. Pick: Barcelona 2, PSG 2   

Echegaray’s take: Before last weekend, I was giving PSG the edge, even without the injuries of Neymar Jr. and Angel di Maria. After all, this is still PSG, a squad with an embarrassment of riches, playing against a less-than-convincing Barcelona. BUT — Barca looked good this weekend and destroyed Alaves 5-1, led by the one and only Lionel Messi. PSG also won this weekend and the line of Moise Kean, Julian Draxler and Kylian Mbappe behind Mauro Icardi looked decent. They can take advantage of Barca’s depleted center-back conundrum (Frenkie de Jong might have to start at the back again). But this is Mauricio Pochettino’s first ever game as PSG manager in the Champions League and I think it will show. Plus, A LOT depends on Marco Verratti’s availability. If he doesn’t play, it could be a long day for PSG. Pick: Barcelona 3, PSG 1

West’s take: Barcelona have finally started to look like a team that’s comfortable with each other. That, coupled with the loss of Neymar to injury and a hungry Lionel Messi, means they just edge this one. Pick: Barcelona 2, PSG 1

Johnson’s take: Despite their absences, PSG still have more than enough firepower to score at Camp Nou and they will take control of the tie here. Pick: Barcelona 1, PSG 2

Benge’s take: PSG would certainly rather have Neymar than not but without the Brazilian they can perhaps be more like the sort of aggressive pressing teams that Mauricio Pochettino deploys at his best. We’ve seen before that such energy can shock Barcelona and there’s no reason to think it won’t again. Pick: Barcelona 1, PSG 2

Gonzalez’s take: No Neymar for PSG due to injury, but they still have more than enough to win this one comfortably. In the end, Lionel Messi’s magic helps keep this one undecided after the first leg. Pick: Barcelona 2, PSG 2

Herrera’s take: Barcelona’s regained their form in La Liga and will be impressive, but Kylian Mbappe will keep the backline honest. Pick: Barcelona 2, PSG 2

Goodman’s take: Barcelona have mostly stopped their early season bleeding and stabilized their season by beating bad teams thanks to Antoine Griezmann finding form. Unfortunately for them PSG, even without Neymar, aren’t a bad team. Pique looks like he’ll be back for Barcelona who will desperately need him to stabilize their backline, and quickly, if they want to keep PSG in check. But it probably won’t be enough. Pick: Barcelona 1, PSG 2

So who should you back in the UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and PSG? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see this week’s best bets for the UEFA Champions League, all from the European soccer insider who’s generated over $16,900 for $100 bettors since the 2017-18 season!

RB Leipzig vs. Liverpool

Time: Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET (CBS All Access)
RB Leipzig +195; Draw +235; Liverpool +124 (odds via William Hill Sportsbook)

Rongen’s take: It’s safe to say that Liverpool are not clicking defensively, but they still can outscore most teams. Pick: RB Leipzig 1, Liverpool 2

Romano’s take: Liverpool have to react to their difficult moment in the Premier League. The defense continue to have problems which could lead to them conceding a goal, especially as Leipzig always offer offensive football. Look for the match to end in a draw. Pick: RB Leipzig 1, Liverpool 1  

Echegaray’s take: After conceding the Premier League title, and now three straight losses, Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool will be hoping that the Champions League gives them a ray of sunshine as this is their only hope of a trophy. But, they’re now facing a confident RB Leipzig, who won last Friday against Augsburg – all while resting key players – and sit second in the Bundesliga. Basically, this is about mentality and who takes advantage of vulnerability and to me, that doesn’t bode well for LFC, even if it is a neutral ground. Leipzig will edge this one in the first leg. Pick: RB Leipzig 2, Liverpool 1  

West’s take: Leipzig are on a four-match winning run, full of confidence, and on top of their form. It’s the last thing a floundering Liverpool need to see, especially with the type of threat Leipzig can pose on any given day. Pick: RB Leipzig 3, Liverpool 1  

Johnson’s take: Leipzig will exploit Liverpool’s vulnerability but Klopp’s men will pick up a potentially important away goal. Pick: RB Leipzig 2, Liverpool 1     

Benge’s take: All it takes is one error from a cobbled together Liverpool defense and Leipzig can take control of this tie. On recent form, a mistake doesn’t look beyond Jurgen Klopp’s side, what does is coming back from one. Pick: RB Leipzig 1, Liverpool 0

Gonzalez’s take: The Reds are reeling, and their defensive issues are concerning. Add on top of that the fact that Alisson is playing nowhere near to his normal level, and this has all the makings of an RB Leipzig victory. Pick: RB Leipzig 2, Liverpool 1    

Herrera’s take: Liverpool shake off their Premier League demons and pull off the win, more due to a lapse in defensive organization from Leipzig. Pick: RB Leipzig 1, Liverpool 2

Goodman’s take: Liverpool have been an absolute mess recently, as their defensive injury crisis finally catches up with them. Klopp’s men can manage to scrape by when they play against opponents who don’t test their center backs, Leipzig ask questions. Julian Nagelsmann’s side’s innovative, interchanging attacking side will test whoever Klopp deploys in defense, but they’ll also leave holes of their own for Liverpool’s dynamic as ever front three to exploit. Pick: RB Leipzig 2, Liverpool 2

So who should you back in the UEFA Champions League match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see this week’s best bets for the UEFA Champions League, all from the European soccer insider who’s generated over $16,900 for $100 bettors since the 2017-18 season!

Thanks for checking us out, and good luck with your picks!

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